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It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll, but I Admire it…

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by Manda Milling

about 1 year ago

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I’ve recently returned from a holiday. You forget how good holidays are and how refreshed they can make you feel…until you face your inbox! I had the opportunity to visit the Rolling Stones’ exhibition, (called ‘Exhibitionism’, of course), celebrating 50 years of the band’s history. They are of course as much a brand, as a band these days and it was wonderful (and astonishing) that they had kept such a huge amount of their history and memorabilia. 

Even Keith kept a diary! Who knew? So how do you stay with one employer/group for over 50 years, working with the same people? The new guy (Ronnie) joined in 1975 and one of the original guys, Bill, had had enough and left in the early 1990’s.  Mick, Keith and Charlie have been working together since the early 1960’s. That’s a pretty low staff turnover percentage in anyone’s terms, which a lot of employers could only dream about. 

So what has kept them together? 

Sure, the money (I hear you say) and they are still earning huge amounts of it. If it was only the money, they wouldn’t have to work another day in their lives due to their royalty cheques alone.  But remember, these guys are ‘artists’ and with that goes the creative element to their work and ‘only the money’ just doesn’t cut it with ‘creatives’. They are ridiculously world famous, so they don’t need the celebrity factor. In fact, they don’t have to prove themselves at all professionally, with anyone or anything. 

They have had to live and work together for decades, particularly when they are writing, recording and touring; and whilst they have their own outside interests (fathering more children in Mick’s case), they still have to turn up to create it all over again, year after year, decade after decade. In short, they love what they do. They have been able to reinvent themselves, engage new technologies, they have a recognisable brand and above all they have embraced generational change. They have been able to successfully recruit their team for their own particular cultural fit. Mick and Keith bonded over blues’ records in the late 1950’s. That’s all it took, initially anyway. 

As an employee, could you do it? As an employer, could you ensure it? As a job seeker, having a stable work history is highly attractive to an employer. As an employer, having a stable team is highly attractive to a job seeker. So, whilst no one is suggesting you need to stay with the same employer for over 50 years, don’t under estimate the value of stability. If you just can’t stand hearing ‘Satisfaction’ one more time, you have to at least acknowledge that the Rolling Stones’ ongoing success and (dare I say) stability, isn’t just purely based on luck (or a LOT of money!).

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